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Wildfire Rage in Virginia and the Carolinas. Feb-2008

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  • Wildfire Rage in Virginia and the Carolinas. Feb-2008

    CNN) -- Fire crews scrambled on Monday to control scores of wildfires that flared up in drought-stricken Virginia and the Carolinas over the weekend.


    Firefighters hose down a house in Horry County, South Carolina, on Sunday.

    1 of 3 At least 100 brush fires erupted on Sunday across Virginia, prompting Gov. Tim Kaine to declare a state of emergency.

    About half of Virginia's counties reported wildfires burning on Monday, an official said.

    In South Carolina, a similar wildfire outbreak destroyed at least 10 homes, state forestry officials said.

    No deaths have been reported.

    Lewis Cooper, who evacuated his home near Conway, South Carolina, told The Associated Press he could feel the intense heat from half a mile away.

    Cooper told AP the smoke made it hard to breathe, and he told another neighbor, "Get your dogs, get in your car and get out of here!"

    Worshippers at Willow Spring Free Will Baptist Church near Raleigh, North Carolina, had to cut services short and evacuate the church Sunday when a wildfire approached, the fire chief in Cleveland, North Carolina, told AP.

    The church wasn't damaged, but two empty barns burned down and 20 homes were threatened, Fire Chief Chris Ellington told AP.

    CNN Meteorologist Rob Marciano said winds gusting to 50 or 60 mph on Sunday helped spread the fires.

    WYFF: Fire damages homes in South Carolina
    John Campbell, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Forestry, said about half of Virginia's 95 counties reported "significant" wildfires early Monday, but he had no estimate of the total acreage. The largest, about 400 to 500 acres, was in Bedford County, near Roanoke, where county officials reported at least 10 fires burning.

    Campbell said the flames had damaged at least three homes, and he expected the number to grow.

    Kaine's emergency declaration lets him organize people, equipment and resources to respond to the fires. Campbell said about 100 National Guard troops have been mobilized to help fight the fires, and his agency had five aircraft available to help.

    State forestry personnel battled the fires all day Sunday. State police and transport officials coordinated road closures made necessary by thick smoke and debris.

    In South Carolina, the state Forestry Commission reported 10 homes destroyed by wildfires that ranged up to several hundred acres. Firefighters were fighting more than 90 blazes statewide, but most were considered minor.

    The worst was along a state highway in Horry County, near the state's Atlantic coast, and covered about 250 acres. A 60-acre fire in Spartanburg County, in the state's Piedmont region, was threatening a subdivision, the Forestry Commission said.

    In Pickens County, South Carolina, residents used garden hoses to battle a fire that jumped across a street pushed by high winds, CNN affiliate WYFF reported.

    Firefighters told the station they were able to control the fire quickly because of the residents' fast response.
    Last edited by coldfront; 02-11-2008, 09:16 AM.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

  • #2
    Greenville S.C.

    GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Upstate firefighters stayed busy Saturday fighting brush and grass fires that were igniting all over.

    Due to strong winds and low humidity, conditions have been good for brush and grass fires to flare up in the area.

    News 4'S Mandy Gaither TELLS reported that a red flag warning was issued for Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. because the conditions.

    Firefighters responded to Oakwood Street in Easley Saturday afternoon after they received a call saying that a fire had gotten out of control.

    Firefighters said that someone was burning leaves after they said they had taken all of the precautions, such as watering the ground and clearing the area of flammable objects.

    After they put out the fire, however, the wind ignited the charred remains, and the fire burned the grass at the residence all the way to the house.

    Firefighters said they were able to stop the fire, but they said that the flames did get dangerously close to the house. They said that the fire could have been prevented.

    "They need to have a water source so they can handle the fire if it gets out of control, and they need to have a break around the fire to help keep it from spreading. And also, (they should) stay with the fire until it's completely out," Easley Fire Department Lt. Jody Vissage said.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!


    • #3
      Link to video of the 3 major fires still burning in our area.

      Sunday was an EXTREMELY bad day as wind gust were frequent and heavy.
      Downed power lines sparked several fires, many of which were contained / extinguished quickly.

      At one point on Sunday 7 of the 11 departments in my county were engaged in fire suppression of multiple brush sires. An 8th department was put on stand-by - staging in the town in the center of the county to respond to any fire need. and the 3 remaining companies were on alert in station to cover the remaining county. As a side note - all of these other 3 companies had already had 1 or more brush fires in their own area that day as well.

      And compared to the fires in this news story - we had it easy.
      Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless


      • #4
        Update Info:
        Roanoke County firefighters say fire containment has improved on the Green Ridge Mountain fire.

        As of 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, firefighters tell us the flames are 30% contained. The fire has scorched around 2,400 acres, and firefighters expect an update on the fire’s size later today. The fire is between the Carvins Cove area, Timberview Road, and Loch Haven Drive.

        Firefighters say the rain has helped slow the fire, but the rain has also slowed firefighters’ efforts to build containment lines. Firefighters have also stopped back-burning for now.

        The approximately 50 Virginia National Guardsmen that are helping firefighters, plan to be back out on the fire line around 1:00 p.m. this afternoon. The soldiers will work to re-inforce existing fire lines. Roanoke County Fire and Rescue tells us the Guardsmen will dig a hand line along the Gauntlet Bike Trail, to create a fourth fire line.

        Firefighters say no homes are in danger, and no evacuations are being ordered. Firefighters say they have helped protect 47 homes that value $12.5 million. The County says in some cases, the flames got as close as five feet from the homes.

        If you live in the fire area and have questions or concerns, call the Roanoke County Emergency Operations Center at 777-8704 for more information.

        Icy conditions force firefighters off the fire lines near Montvale, in Bedford County.

        Firefighters tell us it’s too dangerous for them to work up there, following the freezing rain that fell Tuesday night, and early Wednesday morning.

        So, they’ve diverted to help the Green Ridge Mountain fire, burning in Roanoke County.

        Firefighters tell us the Montvale fire is 90% contained, and the rain is helping. They expect the fire to be fully contained by tonight due to the fire lines they were able to set before coming down.
        Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless


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